One Month

June 13, 2013 - Leave a Response

One Month.

4 weeks.

30 days.

720 hours.

43,200 minutes.

There’s a lot of “time” in a month.  Temporal time, yes.  Actual time?

4 weekends.

2-3 really long brick workouts.

2-3 really long runs.

3-4 track workouts.

8-12 swim workouts.

7-8 bike rides.

4-5 mid-distance runs.

2-3 strength training sessions.

22+ 5am (or earlier) wake up calls.

2 weeks of taper.

1 long car ride to the middle of Indiana.

As of today, I am officially one month out from my first Half Ironman.  On the morning of July 13, I will be lining up along the shore of a lake outside Muncie, Indiana.  Once my group is called, I’ll swim 1.2miles, run to transition, then hop on my bike and pedal for 56miles.  After dropping my bike back off at transition, I’ll throw on my running shoes and run a half marathon before finally crossing a finish line.  My goal is to finish.  Over the past 6 months I have put in the training and have faith in my coach, my training, and my body to get me there.  But I still have one more month.  One month of training left.  One month of doubts.  One month of excitement.  One month of fears.  One month of confidence building.  A lot can happen in a month.  A lot can happen over the course of the day on July 13.  But I’m willing to do everything in my power to get myself to the finish line.

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Portable Protein

June 10, 2013 - 2 Responses

I’m in the heaviest load of my training for my first Half Ironman.  I make a lot of jokes about training and eating, but I love food.  No seriously I really love food.  Partly why I exercise so much is so I can eat all the delicious things the world of gastronomy has to offer.  But the cycle is vicious, because when I train at these extraordinarily high volumes (burning twice my daily caloric intake in one workout at times!) I find myself needing to eat extraordinarily high volumes as well.  Seriously, you might be appalled at the tonnage of food this petite redhead can put away.  Often triathletes are accused of “hoovering” their food, it’s not pretty.

All jokes aside, I do need to make sure I’m getting enough calories, especially protein for muscles and sustained energy, throughout the day to get me through to the next workout.  I started making these “Egg Muffins” a couple years ago when I was working a flex schedule, arriving at the office at 6:30am, working 10-11 hours, and running or working out at lunch.  I needed something that would give me enough calories to get through the long morning.  I’ve become addicted since then.  They’re very easy to make, don’t require a lot of special ingredients, portable, and very satisfying.  Best part, you make 1-2 weeks worth in advance!  I pack them in my lunch and eat them at work, or as a quick protein snack on the go any other time!

Egg Muffins
(see notes below)

1 muffin tin
10 eggs
milk
salt and pepper to taste
“mixers” (any veggies or meats will do)
Cheese mixers (whatever you have on hand)

Preheat oven to 350°.

Crack eggs in a large bowl.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Add milk or whatever you usually add to scrambled eggs.  Whisk eggs thoroughly.  Add mixers.   Add cheese mixers if you like.  Mix well.  Grease muffin cups if they are not nonstick.  Pour or ladle eggs into muffin cups about 2/3 full.  Top with extra mixers or cheese mixers.

Bake 25-30min.  The muffins will puff up as you bake them.  When time is up and they appear to be puffed, turn off the oven.  But leave the muffins in the oven to cool down with the oven!! If you take them out and let them cool at room temperature, they will sink in the middle.  Once cooled enough to handle the tin, remove from oven and allow to cool before storing.

To reheat: Microwave for 30-60 seconds depending on microwave strength.

mushrooms, spinach, monterey jack

mushrooms, spinach, monterey jack

NOTES:

Storage:  Muffins can be stored in containers or sandwich bags in fridge for 1-2 weeks.  They can be frozen for quite a good bit of time too.  I do recommend allowing them to thoroughly cool before freezing to avoid any frozen condensation and allowing to thaw before reheating to prevent extra moisture.

Muffin tins:  I prefer the oversized tin with 6 cups instead of 12 for larger muffins.  But when I’m not in heavy training, I use the 12 smaller ones instead.

Eggs:  I pick 10 eggs because it’s not quite 2 eggs per each muffin (it’s actually 1 2/3), but any amount will do.  Decide how much or little protein you want and go crazy!

Mixers:  Don’t over think this.  I take stock of whatever I have in my fridge/pantry that needs to be used.  I love mushrooms so I usually cut up mushrooms very small and add them.  If I have spinach on hand I add that for the potassium, just tear it up into tiny pieces.  The key is adding everything finely chopped so it distributes evenly.  Fresh herbs from the garden are lovely in the summer, or any other kind of seasoning you like.  You can also forego mixers and go natural.  I like regular egg muffins too.  Also, sometimes I wait to add the mixers until after I’ve put the egg mixture into the tins.  There is no wrong way to do this!

Cheese mixers:  I just check what I have on hand in the fridge. Then I sprinkle, cut up, grate, dollop whatever cheese or combination of cheeses I want into the mixture/tins.  I like to sprinkle some kind of shredded or grated cheese over the top of the muffins so it bakes in on top.  Parmesan or regular shredded mozzarella or cheddar is great for this.  But also like to cut up chunks of other cheeses like havarti into the eggs.  A nice herby goat cheese chevre bakes up lovely too!

Not the prettiest food, but so delicious.

Not the prettiest food, but so delicious.

 

Dickson Endurance Tri

June 5, 2013 - 4 Responses

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I raced the Dickson Endurance Triathlon last month.  It was my first tri of the season.  It was also the longest and hardest tri I’ve ever done. It is a really long race (between an Olympic and Half Ironman distance tri), and it’s really early in the season for that distance race, which means a lot of training has been done indoors or in the cold. It’s also a very difficult course with lots of steep and long hills.  It’s a newer race and it falls in between 2 popular local/regional races, so it’s not a huge race, or most people do the shorter, less challenging course sprint race.

Ready to race.

Ready to race?

I got 3rd Overall female! Out of 4. And 4th place was actually Masters Overall winner. So yay, overall podium finish, even it was last place.  I knew it was going to be a small race with only 7 women officially signed up and I was the only one in my age group.  But only 4 of us showed up.

Warm up done.

Warm up done.

Pre-race: I stayed at my mom’s house because she lives only a couple miles away and it’s about an hour drive from my house.  So I saved some time in the morning (and more potty breaks), and I also got to spend Mother’s Day with her.  I arrived at the race site early and with plenty of time to get set up in a good spot in transition, get body marked, and warm up on the bike and run.  I even had time to pour myself into my wetsuit and get in a warmup swim before they started the race.

New dance craze called "The Wetsuit Squeeze"

New dance craze: “The Wetsuit Squeeze”

Swim (1 mile- 34:15):
Water temp had dropped to about 68 degrees from the rain.  But it actually felt perfect, was warmer than the air temp, and much warmer than the local lake I where had been practicing.  I wore my wetsuit, and I also wore an extra cap under the cap they gave us, partly to conserve heat, but also I hate latex caps that pull my hair.  After they sent off the sprint racers, they did a wave of all men, then after 3 minutes, they sent the 4 of us off.

And then there 4. Also, totally swimming beyond rope!

And then there 4. Totally swimming beyond rope!

I really wish they had just done one wave for this race, and included us with the men.  That was a really lonely swim.  I had nobody to draft off of and any men I caught up to or passed were having trouble so I couldn’t swim with them.

Swimming at my own risk.

Swimming at my own risk, just like the sign says.

It was also a 2 loop swim.  I feel like I had to work extra hard for this swim without any help from drafting and even though the wetsuit helps with floating and speed, my left arm started getting tired from pulling that neoprene.

Wish you could really see the hill climbing back to transition.

Wish you could really see the hill climbing back to transition.

Then coming out of the water was the longest steepest hill I’ve ever seen that I had to run up to transition.  In a wetsuit.  I thought I’d never get back up there.  And I thought my inner thighs were going to stick together from the neoprene.

T1. Wetsuit off, get on bike.

T1. Wetsuit off, get on bike.

Bike (38 miles-2:24:27):
So this is where I went through several stages of grief.

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I knew coming out of the swim I was in 3rd among women, but about 6 miles into the bike, the 4th woman passed me and was long gone!  It’s a 2.5 loops course around the outside of the park.  As I finished the first loop, I heard the cop directing traffic say into his radio “Last 2 on the Endurance race.”  I freaked out.  I knew I was near the back, but I couldn’t believe I was so far behind and that many people had passed me already.  It was a really lonely bike ride for a while, because it’s a small race over a long distance and I was near the back.  Then I started getting really sad; I couldn’t believe I’d be the last to cross the finish.  I still had a hilly 9.3 miles to run once I got off the bike.  Then I got really mad that I was finishing this race alone, and at about 1/2 way through the second loop I started seeing some of the bikers ahead of me.  I could tell they were starting to struggle on the uphills.  I was mad, I wanted to catch them.  I’d get close as they went up hills (I’m a strong climber because I’m light), but lose them on downhills. Finally on the last 1/2 loop, we started climbing the longest hill of the race for the third time.  I could see 3 bikes not far ahead of me and I knew I could take them.  One by one I picked them off, including the 4th place woman at mile 30 who had left me behind 24 miles ago!  Yay!  I wasn’t last place anymore.  I played leap frog with this one older guy (how all of my races have been going lately) for the last 5-10 miles.  As I was riding back into transition (including the worst hill climb of the day) I realized I was beyond last place.

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Run (15k-1:27:56):
I got back to transition and took off on the run.

I don't look too happy.

I don’t look too happy.

This was going to be the hardest part, even though the run is my strongest leg, this course was brutal even without having swam and biked right before.  As I was running, I saw people still coming in on the bike.  I was SO far away from being last place.  I was relieved.

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I held off on taking water and a gel on the run as my stomach was still sloshing around a bit after the bike.  I finally got some Nuun from my handheld at the halfway point and eventually got a salt packet and a gel.  The cups of water they had at the abundant water stop tables was freezing cold and felt great as I poured them on my head a couple times.  I ran as much as I could, but still had to walk several hills.  I was exhausted and some of those hills were just easier to walk because you could get a longer stride instead of the death shuffle running your toes into the grade of the hill.  I chicked a lot more guys on the run.  Every single person in this was race was so incredibly nice and positive!  Everyone said a “good job” or “looking good” or “way to go” to each other.  Every single time.  I love this!  No guys getting their man-panties in a wad that I chicked them.  The last brutal hill back into finish was a killer.  I ran as much as I possibly could but walked quite a bit.  Around 7.5 miles I was ready to be done. I didn’t want to carry my handheld water bottle, in fact I didn’t want anything touching me at all. Over stimulus anyone?  I was so happy to run in towards that finish, and get my chocolate milk and a Coke out of my car, my post-race treats!

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Total: 4:30:56 – 3rd Overall
Pretty sweet haul too.  Every finisher got a technical race shirt, a pretty nice medal (printed on both sides), and a pair of socks.  But I also got a nice plaque, giant tub of drink mix, and the coolest coffee mug complete with its own stirring spoon for my podium finish!

swagdickson

Back of the medal. And I definitely plan to make some hot chocolate in that mug!

Back of the medal. And I definitely plan to make some hot chocolate in that mug!

My biggest hurdle with this race was getting in the distance both physically and mentally, as well as testing and managing my nutrition without bonking or hurling.  I got through both!  I listened to my body and took in fuel/fluids when I needed and more importantly backed off when I needed to.  This was my big temperature gauge for the Half Ironman in Muncie in July. It was a shorter distance and better weather (perfect weather actually!), but it was a much more difficult course.  Now all I have to do is just add on some mileage and some hot weather coping skills and I’m ready for the flat courses in Muncie next month!

BiT months 3&4

May 24, 2013 - Leave a Response

The latest update from Body in Training entries. I’ve decided to keep these as monthly but I’ll only post bi-monthly.

Month 3
Never really got a good chance to get a picture outside with good lighting, so unfortunately this one had to be inside, with less than optimum lighting.  Oh yeah, I got a new haircut.  Does it make me more aero?  My weight, body fat, BMI, and blood pressure are down.

bit3front

Bit3back

Height: 63.5″
Weight: 133.6lbs
Blood Pressure: 117/76
BMI: 23.3
Body Fat: 18.8%
Fat weight: 25.1lbs
Lean (fat-free) weight: 108.5lbs
Total Body Water: 33.6663 Liters, or 60.4%

Month 4
Finally got to get back outside for a picture.  You can see my lovely plants and herbs I’m planning to grow this summer, and a cameo from Diva Kitty eating grass.  Again, my weight, BMI, and blood pressure are all down a little bit.  My body fat percentage went back up.  I figure this is either last month’s reading wasn’t entered properly and/or I am retaining some water from this month since it’s about 5 days out from a race.  It’s only 0.1% higher than BiT month 2.

bit4front

bit4back

Height: 63.5″
Weight: 133lbs
Blood Pressure: 115/75
BMI: 23.2
Body Fat: 20.9%
Fat weight: 27.7lbs
Lean (fat-free) weight: 105.4lbs
Total Body Water: 34.62 Liters, or 60.2%

For comparison, you can find BiT month 1 here, and BiT month 2 here.

Oak Barrel Half Marathon

May 23, 2013 - Leave a Response

finish

I know I’m super late with this race recap, but there was so much awesome in this race that it took me a while to get it all together, then ya know life gets busy.  I gotta say I’ve never been to a race that had such a welcoming small hometown feel.  The runners were clearly the priority that day.  To give you an idea of this race’s demographics: About 1,100 people ran the race (including a lot of locals), and the town only has about 5,700 people in it.  So, with the runners and the volunteers, pretty much the whole town was out for this race.  Every water stop was manned with several people and there was a water stop about every couple miles.  And those who weren’t running or volunteering, were sitting on their porches waving back at all the runners.  The only thing I probably saw more during the race were cows and they’re rude and don’t wave back.

town square

“Downtown Lynchburg” The cutest little square you’ll ever see.

Lynchburg, TN is also the home of Jack Daniels Tennessee Whiskey.  Yes, it’s made here.  No, you can’t buy it here; it’s a dry county.  Yes, most people who live here work there.  You see the influence Jack all over the town, and they are a sponsor of the race.  No, there wasn’t any Jack at the finish line.

Oak Barrel Half Marathon – April 6, 2013

Pre-race
Fortunately this race didn’t start until 8am, so we had time to drive the 90+ minutes to get down to Lynchburg, TN.  Normally it takes about 90 minutes, but with the tiny town (and roads) and extra race day traffic, we gave ourselves plenty of time to get there.  Early morning wake-up, make coffee, prep a banana and a bagel with peanut butter and throw on my race clothes, hop in the car and point it south.  I was able to do my pre-race nutrition in the car ride down and made one potty stop along the way.  When we got there, we wound around the town and back fields to get parking, then went to registration and picked up our packets, shirts, and bib numbers.  I made a bee line for the porta potty lines to get one last relief before the race, attaching my bib number while in line.

Race
Pretty soon it was nearing 8am for race start.  We all just stood around near the start line (love small races!) and the race director literally just counted down 3-2-1-GO for the start.  Nothing fancy, no starting gun,  just getting down to business, just how I like it.

We quickly wound around to the main highway for a very short stretch, then were deep into the farmland.  We ran past a cow pasture, that smelled very strong.  Nothing like huffing and puffing along in a race, and all you can smell are cow patties.

Not long after the cows, we started the slow climb towards Whiskey Hill.  As this is a very rural, small town race, you don’t have a lot of bands or cheerleaders along the course. So as we were running into the wooded area and starting the slow climb, I could hear “Dueling Banjos.”  Yes.  That.  Nothing like being in the backwoods and getting flashbacks of Deliverance.  Turns out someone had a generator and a boombox tucked back into the trees.  Nice one.

Whiskey Hill
This is the race’s defining aspect and pops up around mile 5.  It is a mile long hill, and you don’t notice the first 3/4 of  mile, but the last 1/4 mi is character building.  It starts getting really steep, then it turns a corner and it becomes impossibly steep.  I came down a couple weeks before to preview the course and the hill.  I knew what I had in store for me.  I planned to try to run to the top, but it became clear that walking was faster because you could get longer strides rather than trying to tippy-toe your way up it.  That and my heart rate started getting out of control.  This hill has so much character, it even has its own Facebook page.

After Whiskey Hill, I totally expected to just fall my way down towards the finish line.  This race supposedly has negative elevation gain.  Yeah, no.  Once I hit mile 6, I knew I was near another water station. I turned the corner and it was Whiskey Hill’s baby brother.  Another damn steep hill.  I was not pleased.  This was a part of the course I had not previewed, so I wasn’t ready for it.  Actually turns out the entire course is nothing but rolling hills.  The elevation chart is a lie.  You almost never feel the effects of the downhills.  I quickly learned this is not an easy or PR course.  It is a course to have fun, enjoy the scenery and relish the finish line!

I had a goal finish time in mind.  I knew with all these hills, it might be hard to do, but I’d been training hard and I could push it.  Then at mile 9, a side stitch hit.  What?! I haven’t had a side stitch in years.  It got so bad, I actually had to walk for a bit, and if I let my pace drop below 9min/mi it became unbearable.  I could see my finish time slipping away. I pushed through and maybe around mile 12, it finally let up. I seriously had a side stitch for 20-30min! So I tried to haul whatever I had left on the main highway towards the finish in the last mile.

Final Time: 1:55:56 (15/114 AG) I still had a PR, even if it’s just by a minute.

Swag!

Swag!

Finish Line
But the real bonus to this race is the finish line!  You cannot ask for a better race finish!  You get handed a wooden medal, a pair of Swiftwick socks with the logo on it, and your choice of a running hat or visor with the logo on it! All to match the shirt you got when you picked up your bib!

hoecakes2

But here’s the real treat. You know you’re at a race in the South, when there are Hoecakes and SunDrop at the finish line.  Yes, I did partake.  And yes they are the best hoecakes I’ve ever had!  There was plenty of other food and drinks too; pizza, bagels, bananas, fruit, Brunswick Stew, Gatorade, water.

sundrop hoecake

Then they had a little local band set up that was actually pretty decent playing off past the food area.  Love the stage set up around the Whiskey Barrels.

post band

But my favorite (ok maybe second favorite after the hoecakes and SunDrop) was coming across the spontaneous pickin’ session in front of one of the shops on the tiny town square.  You can’t get any more small Tennessee town than this!

All in all, I would totally do this race again.  It was a cheap race registration, had the best volunteer support, and the finish line and swag were phenomenal.  And I’ve learned my lesson to stop trying to get massive PRs on hilly courses.  This is a race to enjoy!

Boston

April 18, 2013 - Leave a Response

After the bombing of the Boston Marathon on Monday, I went through a series of emotions.  None of which I felt I could accurately convey.  At first, I contemplated that I wouldn’t address it here at all since I usually avoid current events.  Most certainly, I have read numerous blog posts that were a thousand times more eloquent than anything my confused brain could put together.

But I do feel personally touched by Monday’s events.  I was born just about an hour away from Boston, and until about a year or two ago still had property up there.  For the past few years, I have gone up to visit friends.  Last fall, I ran in the Boston Half Marathon, the kid sister to the Boston Marathon.  I am a runner, and have run countless races and spectated and volunteered at others.  The Boston Marathon is my sport’s Olympics/Superbowl/World Cup.  I have several friends who live in the Boston area, and others who had traveled last weekend to run and watch the race, fortunately as far as I know everyone was ok.  I will always have a special place in my heart for the city of Boston.

But none of this is going to stop me.  I’m racing this weekend.  No, I’m not worried, other than the typical race week jitters.  It’s a tiny duathlon race out in a tiny rural area.  The threat level is minimal.  But even if it wasn’t, I’m still not worried.  It’s my duty to continue on with running, training, racing.

You see, Endurance Athletes have one thing that they do better than anyone else, regardless of their speed or ability.

They Endure.

The runners at the race on Monday will be OK.  They will endure on and have a high tolerance for pain and heartbreak.  It is the spectators, volunteers, first responders, family members, and residents of Boston who will need support.  Reach out to someone who fits into one of those categories, whether in Boston or in your hometown.  I know I still haven’t fully allowed myself to feel the emotions of Boston.  Maybe it hasn’t really sunk in yet.  So you’ll excuse me if I get a little teary or give extra hugs to volunteers at the race on Sunday.

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CRS

April 4, 2013 - 5 Responses

I have always had a terrible (mostly short-term) memory.   As a child, my mother would tell me I had to complete a certain number of tasks (clean my room, homework, take out trash, etc.) before I could do something I wanted to do (watch TV, play outside, etc.).  She would invariably list these tasks off to me verbally and off I would go to complete them.  Later, she would find me doing the thing I wanted to do and would quiz me whether I had completed X, Y, and Z.  Without fail, there would always be at least one that I forgot and I would say “Oops!” and get up and immediately go do it.  After a few times, my mother would get really mad and argue with me that I was just trying to skip out on my responsibilities, and I would argue that I just genuinely didn’t remember it.

Until one day, we both figured out that I just couldn’t retain that many things over time.  So, she would tell me one thing at a time and I would come back once I was done, or she would write everything down on paper and I could easily check off my “chores.”  (Note: This may be a major contributing factor to my incessant need to check things off a list, even to the point that I will write something down I just did so I can check it off. I know some of you do it too!)

But this memory quirk bleeds over into other areas of my life, not just lists and chores.  Because of my short-term memory challenges, I literally cannot retrace my steps most of the time.  So I have to be really careful where I put things, like my keys, shoes, the remote, parking my car.  Many times I can’t tell you what I did 10 minutes ago, so where I put my keys when I walked in the house last night, forget it.  For a while I thought it was just an absent-minded thing.  And maybe to an extent it is (ever find your remote in the fridge?), but I also can’t remember what someone told me an hour ago, so I always ask to get everything in writing.  (Note: Now I just blame that on my profession as a occupational hazard because people understand that better than I just have a crappy memory.)

C.R.S.

So for many years I used to sympathize with the joke that many middle-aged and older people like to espouse.  “I have a case of C.R.S. Can’t Remember Shit.”  And for the most part that is true.  However, I have this really detailed long-term memory.  I can remember things from when I was a very small child.  I can also remember with great detail conversations from a long time ago.  I have a little bit of a photographic memory for numbers, too.

“it’s still there…somewhere”

But one of the weirdest aspects of my memory is that I’ve never actually forgotten most things.  It’s tucked in there somewhere, I just need prompting.  (Note: This has been a major source of frustration for friends and family.)  Ask me about something and I will claim I don’t know what you’re talking about.  But if you keep talking to me about it, eventually something (maybe a visual cue like we were talking outside under the trees, or a certain word or joke that was said) and I will instantly remember everything, sometimes in almost photographic detail.  All it takes is that one thing to trigger my memory.

“everything has a place”

But this is very frustrating, because I can’t trigger my own memory of something when I’m trying to recall where I parked my car or what I did with last year’s swimsuit.  Mostly I’ve solved some of those issues by creating a certain type of order in my life.  Everything that is vital has a place in my house, and as long as I put things back in that place I will (mostly) be able to find it.  You might think I’d be one of those people who gets upset when you “move the cheese” in my house.  If you move a knick knack around I probably won’t notice, or if I do notice, I’ll just think I moved it at some point and don’t remember.  It’s like hanging out at Granny’s house right?  But if you move my keys, my whole world melts down.  I have no idea where to start to find them.

“source of the frustration?”

So recently I was thinking about this weird memory of mine.  It’s one of the most frustrating things in my life that neither I nor anyone else has control over.  On a daily basis it is a major exercise for me to recall the simplest things.  For years I always looked at it like my memory was broken, that it just didn’t work.  But as I think about it, it’s not the memory that’s broken, because I really can remember a lot of things, just not how I want to.  I think it’s the filing mechanism in my brain.  I take in all the information, but I just don’t always file it away in the appropriate spot.  It’s kind of like my brain is like my house.  There is a certain spot where my keys (or conversations with friends, or birthdates) go, and if I don’t put them away in their little “cubby hole” I have a hard time finding them without someone else’s help.  They’re in there somewhere, I just have a drunk child filing them away in inappropriate spots.

So maybe my memory isn’t so bad after all.  

It’s just my filing system that’s out of sorts.

Bless your heart

March 29, 2013 - 2 Responses

If you’ve never lived in the South, you’ve never had the privilege of hearing some of the most  fantastic oratory in this country.  And no, I’m not just talking about the diversity of accents and dialects down here.  I’m talking about the way people speak.  In particular, if you ever get the chance to listen to a Southern woman talk (usually about other people), stop and listen.

There are amazing quips and phrases that are heard on a daily basis in the South.  Some are very often in the form of a simile or metaphors.  Some of my favorites:

  • Fixing to: which means you are about to do something.  
  • Fixens: All the special trimmings with a meal (not to be confused with the phrase above)
  • Nervous as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs.
  • More _____ than you can swing a dead cat at (Ok I actually don’t like this one much with the deceased animal reference)
  • Devil is beating his wife: It’s raining and the sun is shining simultaneously
  • You’re not from ’round here are ya?: We know you’re an outsider. We will keep an eye on you. (Usually said after you mispronounce one of our towns/streets/etc)
  • Rode hard and hung up to dry: looking pretty haggard
  • Sweating like a whore in church
  • He/She is dumber than a bag of hammers.
  • Gimme some sugar: Kiss/hug me.  Usually said to small children or cutesy to lovers.

But one of my favorite things about Southern oratory is the backhanded compliment.  If “you’re not from around here” you might confuse someone as complimenting you when really they’re pointing out your foibles.  I always tell people one of the best ways to spot it is to listen to the following phrase, it will usually precede or follow the aforementioned backhanded compliment or to soften the blow of a outright insult.

“Bless your heart.”

I adore this Southernism.  I like to use it whenever I can, and generally spread the gospel of “bless your heart” to my non-Southern friends.  How is it used?  Usually in conjunction with another Southernism.  For example: “He’s dumber than a bag of hammers, bless his heart.”  Now, see that doesn’t sound quite as bad as “he’s a dumbass” does it?  Throw in a nice drawl and I just want to sop it up with a biscuit.*

Another way to use “bless your heart” is when you see or hear someone doing something in an entirely wrong or bad way.  For example, when you see someone doing a terrible job of parking a giant car and then see it’s a little old lady who can barely see over the steering wheel and you say “bless her heart.”  Or recently when the woman at my gym was really trying to convince me that I needed to join their couch to 5k training group while I was wearing this shirt:

I almost never wear this shirt because it screams "I RAN A HALF MARATHON!"

I almost never wear this shirt because it screams “I RAN A HALF MARATHON!”

Or recently when I was getting my numbers checked at my gym and the employee helping me noticed my weight, BMI, body fat, and looked at me and said, “Wow…um…you must lift a lot of weights?”  Why thank you sweet Southern lady who was trying to think of the most polite way to say she was surprised by how healthy my numbers were.

* Gotta love this one.  Biscuits are a staple of Southern gastronomy.  They’re used to sop up the gravy, juices, chocolate, whatever is left on a plate.

So what are your favorite Southernisms?  Or do you have any that you need translating?

Thoughts on a long bike ride

March 22, 2013 - 4 Responses

Last weekend I went out on my longest bike ride ever. 45 miles.  For most Ironmen and ultra-cyclists, that’s a warm-up, but for me that’s 3+hrs of my life by myself and alone with my thoughts.  I thought I’d take you on that journey.

  • Alright let’s do this.  It’s so nice out, it’s going to be a great ride.
  • Ok, just get through these next couple intersections.  Please, nobody hit me.
  • Dammit missed the light,  stupid sensors don’t pick up bikes.  I’m turning anyway.
  • Wow my legs are feeling really good!
  • Ooh cows. (at this point you hear me audibly yell “MOO!” at the cows. Yes, I’m that person)

cows

  • Ew cows, definitely smell them this time.
  • It’s really rural out here.  Wait did I just hear gun shots?
  • Ok, cue sheet says turn left here.  And that’s the direction of the gun shots.  Is it hunting season?
  • I have no idea where I am.  I really hope I don’t get a flat.
  • Time for a Gu break!
  • More cows.  MOO!
  • Oh goody a train.  Stopped on the road.  How am I supposed to finish my ride? I don’t even know where I am.
You shall not pass!

You shall not pass!

  • Train is still not moving.  Guess I can walk around it to get to the other side.
  • Dammit, it started moving again (as I’m halfway down the side of the train)
  • Ok, back on the road.
  • OMG what is that SMELL?!!!!  Don’t puke!
  • Ooh look goats! Hey buddy how’s it going?

goat

  • What the? Chickens?
  • Time for a Gu break!
  • What was the name of that town?  I have no idea how to even get here in my car!
  • Hm, what am I going to destroy eat when I get back home. Maybe I should have another snack.
  • OMG.  STOP.  BRAKES.  That’s an alpaca farm! Shut up!

alpacas

  • Ok, back to a part of the course I recognize.  Getting closer to civilization.
  • Legs are starting to get a little tired, but still feeling surprisingly good.
  • Ooh, a Dr. Pepper on the side of the road.  I could really go for a soda right now.
  • 39 miles? Man, am I ever ready to get out of this saddle.
  • Ugh, I still have to run 2.5 miles after this.

So yeah, all that “legs feel good” nonsense was no help on my 12 mile run the next day, especially not on the big hill 2/3 of the way through the run.

Showing my Nuun love

March 12, 2013 - One Response

I have some fun news for this year’s racing season.  You may see me sporting a Nuun logo and you’ll see me drinking Nuun to hydrate (as I usually am).  I was selected as a Nuun Ambassador for 2013.

nuun-logo-lockup-M

 

No doubt if you’ve been reading this blog (or gone for a run with me in person), you’ve heard me talk about Nuun as a great way to hydrate for training, but also just for daily life.

Here are some of my favorite things about Nuun:

  • It’s a great way to get electrolytes without adding a bunch of sugar, high fructose corn syrup, or other unknown chemicals.
  • It’s travel/airline friendly.  No liquids and very compact packaging!
  • You can use it during the day, not just for athletes competing!
  • Lots of GREAT flavors.
  • The main part of the tube is recyclable!
  • Tablets are scored to easily break it up for smaller water bottles.
  • You can add it to any other liquids to give an added flavor and electrolyte boost, like iced tea.
  • In a pinch I’ve heard you can chew up a tablet to beat cramps/dehydration.
  • You can find it in every running/biking store and sometimes in other stores around town. Or you can easily purchase online.

So, if you haven’t had a chance to try Nuun, pick up a tube and give it a try.  I love it and have been using it for years now.

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